The Third Woe: San Francisco Earthquake (Revelation 11:14)

Chilling new report predicts massive earthquake and tsunami for Pacific Northwest

It’s just a matter of time before a mega-quake hits the region between Northern California and British Columbia, where it is expected to kill more than 10,000 people and cause $32 billion in damages, the report says

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:36 AM
Overflow from Elk Creek flows down Access Road in Elkton Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. A new report predicts a massive earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific Northwest coast would inundate towns and cost $32 billion worth of damage.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN/AP Overflow from Elk Creek flows down Access Road in Elkton Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. A new report predicts a massive earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific Northwest coast would inundate towns and cost $32 billion worth of damage.

SALEM, Ore. — More than 10,000 people could die when — not if — a monster earthquake and tsunami occur just off the Pacific Northwest coast, researchers told Oregon legislators Thursday.
Coastal towns would be inundated. Schools, buildings and bridges would collapse, and economic damage could hit $32 billion.
These findings were published in a chilling new report by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, a group of more than 150 volunteer experts.
In 2011, the Legislature authorized the study of what would happen if a quake and tsunami such as the one that devastated Japan hit the Pacific Northwest.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone, just off the regional coastline, produced a mega-quake in the year 1700. Seismic experts say another monster quake and tsunami are overdue.
“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, an engineer and chairman of the commission, told lawmakers. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”
When it hits, the report says, there will be devastation and death from Northern California to British Columbia.
Many Oregon communities will be left without water, power, heat and telephone service. Gasoline supplies will be disrupted.
The 2011 Japan quake and tsunami were a wakeup call for the Pacific Northwest. Governments have been taking a closer look at whether the region is prepared for something similar and discovering it is not.
Oregon legislators requested the study so they could better inform themselves about what needs to be done to prepare and recover from such a giant natural disaster.

An aerial view of the waterfront section of Hilo Island of Hawaii, where a tidal wave hit on April 1, 1946. Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast and could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes.
ASSOCIATED PRESS An aerial view of the waterfront section of Hilo Island of Hawaii, where a tidal wave hit on April 1, 1946. Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast and could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes.

The report says that geologically, Oregon and Japan are mirror images. Despite the devastation in Japan, that country was more prepared than Oregon because it had spent billions on technology to reduce the damage, the report says.
Jay Wilson, the commission’s vice chairman, visited Japan and said he was profoundly affected as he walked through villages ravaged by the tsunami.
“It was just as if these communities were ghost towns, and for the most part there was nothing left,” said Wilson, who works for the Clackamas County emergency management department.
Wilson told legislators that there was a similar event 313 years ago in the Pacific Northwest, and “we’re well within the window for it to happen again.”
Experts representing a variety of state agencies, industries and organizations expanded on the report’s findings and shared with lawmakers how they have begun planning.
Sue Graves, a safety coordinator for the Lincoln County School District, told lawmakers that high school students in her district take semester-long classes that teach CPR and other survival techniques in the wake of a giant earthquake. The class teaches students to “duck, cover and hold” when the ground starts shaking.
Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, said it is important for residents to have their own contingency plans for natural disasters.
“Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” she said.

Killing a Third of Mankind (Zechariah 13:9)


Escalation of India-Pakistan Conflict ‘Threatens World With Nuclear Catastrophe
Sputnik
Tensions are growing between India and Pakistan over the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir. So far this month, 11 people have been killed and another 18 injured amid violations of the ceasefire along the line of control. RIA Novosti contributor Ilya Plekhanov warns that the conflict risks turning into a threat to global stability.
So far in the month of July, nearly a dozen people have been killed, with 4,000 more forced to leave their homes amid rising tensions on the line of control, the military delineation between the Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions of Jammu and Kashmir. Delhi and Islamabad have traded accusations over the crossfire.
The Indian Defense Ministry accused Pakistani forces of targeting civilians in artillery attacks. Meanwhile, following ceasefire violations on July 21, Pakistan blamed India for violating ceasefire norms, and summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner to discuss the issue.
Amid the flaring of tensions, Indian ex-minister of information and broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu, recently nominated as the National Democratic Alliance party’s candidate for vice president, said on Sunday that Pakistan should remember its loss in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, after which Bangladesh broke with Islamabad and gained independence.
Meanwhile, last week, former Indian defense minister and opposition Samajwadi party chairman Mulayam Signh Yadav claimed that China was preparing to attack India, and was looking to use the Pakistani nuclear arsenal against Delhi.
Earlier this year, analysts told The New York Times that there was circumstantial evidence to suggest that Delhi was considering a reinterpretation of its nuclear doctrine, which presently prohibits the first use of nuclear weapons. Under the current doctrine, India prescribes the use of its nuclear arsenal for a massed retaliatory strike against enemy cities in the event of a Pakistani attack.
Now, experts warn, the Indian military is considering modifying its doctrine to include limited preemptive strikes against Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, ostensibly for self-defense. For now, the idea remains speculation, and based on an analysis of recent statements by Indian officials.
According to RIA Novosti contributor Ilya Plekhanov, such speculation even carries the risk of pushing Pakistan to increase its own nuclear capabilities, and unleashing a nuclear arms race between the two nuclear powers. Secondly, the journalist warned, a revision of India’s doctrine could lead Islamabad to consider any escalation as a pretext for an Indian first strike.
India and Pakistan are estimated to have stockpiles of about 120-130 and 130-140 warheads each, respectively. Indian delivery systems include the Prithvi and Agni short, medium and intermediate range missiles, as well as a submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile (currently under development). Pakistan, meanwhile, possesses the Babur short to medium range nuclear-tipped cruise missile, nuclear-capable medium range ballistic missiles, and is reported to be testing new air- and sea-launched cruise missile systems, as well as nuclear-capable tactical missiles.
The long range ballistic Agni-V missile is displayed during Republic Day parade, in New Delhi, India.
© AP Photo/ Manish Swarup
The long range ballistic Agni-V missile is displayed during Republic Day parade, in New Delhi, India.
Earlier this year, Pakistan accused India of speeding up its nuclear program, and of preparing for the production of up to 2,600 nuclear warheads. In early July, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s report on global nuclear arsenals said that both countries are expanding their nuclear weapons stockpiles, and developing new delivery capabilities.
Last week, Pakistan Army brigadier (ret.) Feroz Khan, an expert on Pakistan’s nuclear program, told a panel in Washington that Islamabad’s doctrine on the use of nuclear weapons was similar to the one NATO had during the Cold War, when alliance policy was to use tactical nukes against advancing Warsaw Pact forces in the event of war.
Indians critical of Pakistan’s nuclear posture say that Islamabad uses its nuclear status to provide cover for terrorist attacks against India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Plekhanov wrote, for India, Pakistan’s arsenal of tactical nuclear has become a strategic problem. “If Pakistan uses only tactical nuclear weapons, and only on the battlefield, then an Indian response involving the bombing of Pakistani cities would make look Delhi look very bad. Hence the talk in India about changing the interpretation of their doctrine, including the elimination of Pakistani arsenals before they are put into operation.”
Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House is another reason for growing Indian assertiveness, the journalist added. “India believes that with the new American president, it will have much more decision-making freedom in its nuclear policy. US-Pakistani relations under Trump are also on the decline; Washington has stopped considering Islamabad a reliable ally in the fight against militants in Afghanistan. India, naturally, is reassured by this.”
Pakistan Army firing NASR missile, July 2017
© Youtube/Pakistan Defence Official
Pakistan Army firing NASR missile, July 2017
Ultimately, Plekhanov warned that the growing tension on the Indian subcontinent could lead to disastrous consequences. “An escalation in Jammu and Kashmir, or a major terrorist attack in India, like the one on Mumbai, may very well serve as a trigger, kicking off a chain of events and leading to a preventative nuclear strike by one side against the other.”
“The main problem,” the journalist stressed, was that “no one knows exactly what criteria Pakistan has for the use of its nuclear weapons, or what exactly it may consider as the formal beginning of a war by India. The second problem is that terrorist attacks in India may not be connected to Pakistan at all, but that it will be very difficult to convince the Indian side of this.”
A 2008 study focused on the environmental consequences of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan by researchers from the University of Colorado and the University of California found that although the two countries nuclear arsenals are small, their use would lead to a climate catastrophe resulting in mass famine.
As a result, according to the study, about 1 billion people would die in the space of a decade. In other words, Plekhanov noted, “it seems that the distant problem concerning India and Pakistan” is not so distant after all, and “concerns the whole world.”

A Third Of Mankind Will Perish In The Nuclear Holocaust (Rev 9:15)


What You Should Know About That Top-Secret U.S. Nuclear Hit List

Lily Rothman @lilyrothman
12:43 PM ET

Recently declassified documents shed light on top-secret Cold War plans

The recently declassified top-secret U.S. military document that was published on Tuesday by the National Security Archive at the George Washington University is shocking for a number of reasons. Written in 1956, the Cold War-era report, titled the Strategic Air Command (SAC) “Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959,” contains a list of targets that would be priorities in the case of atomic war with the Soviet Union and its allies.

As analyst William Burr points out in his extremely thorough explanation of the document’s context and significance, the list of airfields and industrial targets also included urban centers, indicating that “people as such, not specific industrial activities, were to be destroyed” in the event the plan was carried out. Given today’s knowledge of the long-term effects of atomic explosions, it’s clear that the plan so dryly laid out by U.S. intelligence would have resulted in death and destruction unlike anything the world had or has ever seen.

But lurking behind the frigid calculus of Cold War nuclear strategy is a bit of context that the report’s authors might already have suspected in 1956: by the time the plan would have been put into effect in 1959, it would already have been pretty much obsolete.

As Burr explains, the priority targets listed in the plan are those connected to Soviet air power, because the age of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) had not yet arrived. In other words, the U.S. would use its own bombers to target Russian airfields because the only way to drop a nuclear weapon at the time was to ferry it to its target via plane.

Jan. 30, 1956

But even as the report was being drafted, it was public knowledge that this technological limitation was changing. In fact, TIME devoted a January 1956 cover story to the impending arrival of the missile on the Cold War scene. Though official announcements remained “brief and vague” it was known that such missiles were the “No. 1 crash program of the U.S. armed services.”

Long-range guided missiles with nuclear capabilities weren’t a new idea. Germany had used primitive versions of non-nuclear missiles in World War II, and the advantage of combining missiles with atomic power was obvious after 1945. It had taken a decade, however, for computer and rocket technology to get to the point where such missiles were a near-term possibility. Another necessary development was the shrinking of nuclear weaponry. At a lighter weight, atomic bombs could be carried by lighter missiles propelled to higher speeds by lighter motors. That breakthrough “changed all the equations of scientific war,” TIME noted, “and it forced on the Department of Defense a grave decision: to concentrate intensively on the ICBM.”

So why was the Strategic Air Command spending its time coming up with a plan for a 1959 attack that assumed a world without ICBMs? As TIME explained, the military was simply covering all its bases:

Will the ICBMs work, and when will they be ready? Most missile experts seem to believe that the task of developing them is not impossible, but that the timetable is uncertain. It may be five or even ten years, say the pessimists. Meanwhile, the U.S. must keep itself able to ward off more conventional attacks on its territory, and also be able to retaliate if an attack comes. Even high Air Force officers who have most faith in the ICBM feel that the U.S. must push conventional programs, both offensive and defensive, almost as if the ICBM were impossible.

General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command, is emphatic on this point. He is not against missiles, though sometimes quoted as being so, but he feels that in air warfare it is always necessary to keep one’s eye on the ball, not on the distant future. “We must put more time and money,” he says, “into the development of these birds. Missiles are another step in the evolution of war. We will use them as we get them, and we will get them when they are effective and reliable.” LeMay’s mission is to be ready for instant, effective action. He wants a continuous supply of weapons that will make such action possible, including lesser missiles than the ICBM.

The development of ICBMs was especially important, not just because it would change the priorities for an imaginary nuclear war but also because it removed an attacker’s advantage. As TIME put it in July of 1956, the year the now-declassified plan was written, the “fear of atomic war stems from the fact that the aggressor still has an outside chance to profit from attack. The ICBM will end all hope for such aggression, however devastating, without sure and deadly retaliation.”

With the advent of assured second-strike capability, the entire nuclear military calculus would change, rendering all non-ICBM plans for future strategy—like the document just released—fairly useless.

By April 1957, TIME devoted another cover story to the topic of missiles. Much had changed in the intervening year. “In the Convair plant at San Diego one day last December,” the story began, “a mysterious piece of hardware was carefully cantilevered down from a vertical position inside a closely guarded seven-story shed. Draped in a white canvas shroud, lashed to a yellow, tubular steel trailer, the top-secret cargo was hauled out onto U.S. Highway 80 to begin a 2,500-mile trip across the southern U.S. … Under the shroud was Atlas, the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile.”

By 1959, Atlas missiles were ready to use. The age of the nuclear bomber was over, and the age of the ICBM had begun.

The Third Horn Will Be The Third Largest Nuclear Power (Daniel 8:8)

‘Pakistan can become world’s third-ranked nuclear power’

US paper believes Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons can hit India; longer-range nuclear missiles can reach farther
file-photo-of-nuclear-capable-missiles-on-a-mobile-launcher-during-a-pakistan-day-military-parade-1446996937-8005

File photo of nuclear-capable missiles on a mobile launcher during a Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad.
 
NEW YORK – Pakistan, with as many as 120 warheads, could become the world’s third-ranked nuclear power in a decade, behind the United States and Russia, but ahead of China, France and Britain, according to The New York Times newspaper.

In its editorial, the paper reported that Pakistan’s arsenal was growing faster than any other country’s, and it has become even more lethal in recent years with the addition of small tactical nuclear weapons that can hit India and longer-range nuclear missiles that can reach farther.

“The major world powers spent two years negotiating an agreement to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, which doesn’t have a single nuclear weapon. Yet there has been no comparable investment of effort in Pakistan, which along with India, has so far refused to consider any limits at all,” the paper said.

The US administration has begun to address this ‘complicated’ issue with greater urgency and imagination, even though the odds of success seem small. On Oct 22, the recent meeting at the White House between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama appears to have gone nowhere. Yet it would be wrong not to keep trying, especially at a time of heightened tensions between Pakistan and India over Kashmir.

For decades, India was also penalised for developing nuclear weapons. But attitudes shifted in 2008 when the US, seeking better relations with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as a counterweight to China, gave India a pass and signed a generous nuclear cooperation deal that allowed New Delhi to buy American nuclear energy technology.

American officials say they are not offering Pakistan an India-like deal, which would face stiff opposition in Congress, but are discussing what Pakistan needs to do to justify American support for its membership in the 48-nation Nuclear Supplier Group, which governs trade in nuclear fuel and technology.

As a first step, one American official said that Pakistan would have to stop pursuing tactical nuclear weapons, which are more likely to be used in a conflict with India, and halt development of long-range missiles. “Pakistan should also sign the treaty banning nuclear weapons tests,” the paper said.

Such moves would undoubtedly be in Pakistan’s long-term interest. It cannot provide adequate services for its citizens because it spends about 25 percent of its budget on defence. Pakistan Army, whose chief of staff is due to visit Washington this month, says it needs still more nuclear weapons to counter India’s conventional arsenal.

Also, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done nothing to engage Pakistan on security issues, and he also bears responsibility for current tensions. The nuclear arms race in South Asia, which is growing more intense, demands far greater international attention.

Babylon Has Forgotten The Third Horn Of Pakistan (Daniel 8)


The U.S. cannot afford to forget Afghanistan and Pakistan

By David Ignatius Opinion writer October 6 at 8:14 PM
Follow @ignatiuspost

Last weekend’s deadly attack on an international hospital in Afghanistan was a reminder of the terrible war that grinds on there, with Afghan civilians caught in the crossfire.

Doctors Without Borders, a globally respected group, has charged that the deaths of 22 patients and staff members at its hospital in Kunduz was a “war crime.” The United States has promised to investigate what Gen. John Campbell, the NATO commander in Kabul, says was a mistake.

The hospital bombing comes as the United States is quietly exploring some diplomatic options that could reduce the violence in Afghanistan — and perhaps even curb the danger of a nuclear Pakistan next door. As with most diplomacy in South Asia, these prospects are “iffy,” at best. But they open a window on what’s happening in a part of the world that, except for disasters such as the Kunduz incident, gets little attention these days.

The United States recognized more than four years ago that the best way out of the Afghanistan conflict would be a diplomatic settlement that involved the Taliban and its sometime sponsors in Pakistan. State Department officials have been conducting secret peace talks, on and off, since 2011. That effort hasn’t borne fruit yet, as the Taliban’s recent offensive in Kunduz shows.

But the pace of negotiations has quickened this year, thanks to an unlikely U.S. diplomatic partnership with China. A senior administration official said Monday that “we’re hopeful that there will be a willingness on the part of the Taliban to resume negotiations,” despite the intense fighting in Kunduz and elsewhere. Beijing’s involvement is a “new dynamic” and shows an instance where “U.S. interests overlap with those of China.”

The first round of talks took place in late May in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province in western China. The United States and Pakistan were observers to discussions there between Afghan government and Taliban representatives. A second round took place in early July at Murree, a Pakistani resort town near Islamabad. According to a New York Times account, “the two sides agreed to seek a peaceful end to the conflict by attending regular meetings.”

A third round was scheduled for early August in Murree. But it was torpedoed by the leak from Afghanistan that Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s supposed leader, had actually been dead for two years. After a brief interlude, Akhtar Mohammed Mansour became leader of the Taliban. U.S. officials believe he launched the recent offensive in Afghanistan to consolidate his control of the group, and they’re wary of resuming the talks until the violence ebbs.

The White House is also exploring what could be a diplomatic blockbuster: possible new limits and controls on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Such an accord might eventually open a path toward a Pakistani version of the civil nuclear deal that was launched with India in 2005.
The nuclear dialogue is especially important because it would begin to address what U.S. officials for two decades have viewed as one of the world’s most dangerous security problems. A source familiar with the talks said Pakistan has been asked to consider what are described as “brackets.” Pakistan would agree to restrict its nuclear program to weapons and delivery systems that are appropriate to its actual defense needs against India’s nuclear threat. Pakistan might agree not to deploy missiles capable of reaching beyond a certain range, for example.

In return for such an agreement, the source said, the United States might support an eventual waiver for Pakistan by the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group, of which the United States is a member. At U.S. urging, that group agreed to exempt India from rules that banned nuclear trade with countries that evaded the Non-Proliferation Treaty. This so-called “civil nuclear agreement” allowed India partial entry into the club of nuclear powers, in exchange for its willingness to apply International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards to its civilian program.

Pakistan prizes its nuclear program, so negotiations would be slow and difficult, and it’s not clear that Islamabad would be willing to accept the limitations that would be required. But the issue is being discussed quietly in the run-up to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Washington Oct. 22. Any progress would break a stalemate that has existed since the United States detected Pakistan’s nuclear program in the mid-1980s, and especially after Pakistan exploded its first weapon in 1998.

The United States may have forgotten Afghanistan and Pakistan, but those volatile countries haven’t forgotten about the United States. The dangers are as real as ever, and so is the need for aggressive diplomacy to reduce the threat.

The Third Nuclear Horn Implodes (Daniel 8)

 
The disintegration of Pakistan has finally begun…

Source : SIFY
By : sunil rajguru

Last Updated: Thu, Oct 01, 2015 08:46 hrs

Pakistan was a doomed State right from the very beginning. It was an artificial idea and 68 years after its creation it finally seems to be falling to pieces. TheK in Pakistan stands for Kashmir, but they failed to secure the Valley in 1947-48.

They failed to get the Rann of Kutch by force in 1965, Siachen in 1984 and Kargil in 1999. To make matters worse they lost East Pakistan in 1971. Pakistan has been one long saga of losses and heartbreaks.

Here’s why the future looks even grimmer…

Balochistan Independence: Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan and occupies a whopping 44% of the country’s area. How small would Pakistan be if it broke away? The Balochs never considered themselves Pakistanis and there is a movement for Independence.

While insurgents have been rebelling since 1948, it became much stronger in 2003. In all thousands have been killed in the conflict so far. The President of the Baloch National Movement was kidnapped and executed in 2009.

In the same year Mir Suleiman Dawood (a descendant of former rulers of the region) declared himself ruler of Balochistan and set up a Council for Independent Balochistan.

War in Waziristan: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other terrorist groups including those aligned to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State have virtually taken over mountainous areas in North-West Pakistan.

The Pakistani Army has attacked them and a full-fledged war has broken out. To give you a scale of the operations, about 150,000 soldiers are battling about 30,000 terrorists (an equal number have already been killed). The casualties are high among the security forces too.

This is endemic of a larger problem and more than 50,000 civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks since 9/11. The Pakistani government has been supporting terrorist groups for decades now and Pakistan is finally imploding thanks to that with the centre of gravity being Waziristan.

Unrest in Pakistan occupied Kashmir: This one is a strange thing and has come out of the blue. Some time back a religious head told a large congregation that PoK was better off with India rather than Pakistan.

A few days back people started shouting pro-India slogans and indicated that they wanted to break away from Pakistan. As usual Pakistani authorities have come down hard on them, but that may not work.

Economic meltdown: The USSR was a superpower with a strong military and umpteen nuclear warheads, but it still disintegrated in 1991. The Pakistani economy is in shambles with no solution in sight.

The defence forces eat a huge amount of their budget and they are too dependent on America & Co. for funds. Recently they had an oil crisis and nobody wants to invest with Pakistan. There is great social instability and war and conflict has taken its toll.

Bye bye democracy: The Pakistani government is one of the weakest around and is at the mercy of the troika of the Pakistani Army, the US Government and terrorist groups. We have seen what happens to weak governments all over the world.

Iraq is practically divided into three parts with the government ruling one part, the Kurds one part and the Islamic State one part. IS has also captured a huge chunk of land from Syria and the civil war there is sending refugees all the way to Europe.

The Pakistani government is on the verge of collapse and it is predictable that a coup may take place, but even the Army there finally has no answer to the country’s economic woes and the out of control terrorist groups.

As one can see, Pakistani is besieged from all fronts. The break-up of Pakistan is inevitable. They lost Kashmir at the beginning, Bangladesh in between and they could well lose Balochistan tomorrow.
While the world didn’t care for the disintegration of Iraq and Syria, that will definitely not be the case with Pakistan thanks to its hundreds of nuclear weapons. America after World War 2 has always occupied some country or the other.

While it pulled out of Iraq and is pulling out of Afghanistan, don’t be surprised if it occupies Pakistan tomorrow to ensure that the break-up of the country doesn’t lead to nukes falling in the hands of terrorist groups!

The Third Horn Will Become The Third Largest (Daniel 8)

  

Report: Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could become the world’s third-biggest

By Tim Craig August 27 Follow @timcraigpost

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A new report by two American think tanks asserts that Pakistan may be building 20 nuclear warheads annually and could have the world’s third-largest nuclear stockpile within a decade.

The report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center concludes that Pakistan is rapidly expanding its nuclear capabilities because of fear of its archrival, India, also a nuclear power. The report, which will be released Thursday, says Pakistan is far outpacing India in the development of nuclear warheads.

Analysts estimate that Pakistan has about 120 nuclear warheads, while India has about 100.
In the coming years, the report states, Pakistan’s advantage could grow dramatically because it has a large stockpile of highly enriched uranium that could be used to quickly produce low-yield nuclear devices.

India has far larger stockpiles of plutonium, which is needed to produce high-yield warheads, than Pakistan does. But the report says India appears to be using most of its plutonium to produce domestic energy.

Pakistan could have at least 350 nuclear weapons within five to 10 years, the report concludes. Pakistan then would probably possess more nuclear weapons than any country except the United States and Russia, which each have thousands of the bombs.

“The growth path of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, enabled by existing infrastructure, goes well beyond the assurances of credible minimal deterrence provided by Pakistani officials and analysts after testing nuclear devices,” the report states.

Pakistani military officials were not available to comment on the report when it was made available to journalists Wednesday.

Western officials and analysts have struggled for years to get an accurate assessment of Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities. Several Pakistani analysts questioned the findings of the report, saying it is based on a faulty assumption that Pakistan is using all of its existing stockpiles of fissile material to make nuclear weapons.

Mansoor Ahmed, a nuclear expert at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, said he suspects that a more accurate assessment of Pakistan’s capability is that it can develop no more than 40 to 50 new warheads over the next several years.

Ahmed, however, doesn’t dispute that Pakistan’s military is seeking to expand its nuclear capabilities.
“This report is overblown,” said Ahmed, who was recently named a nuclear security fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. “However . . . what the world must understand is that nuclear weapons are part of Pakistan’s belief system. It’s a culture that has been built up over the years because [nuclear weapons] have provided a credible deterrence against external aggression.”

France has about 300 warheads and the United Kingdom has about 215, according to the Federation of American Scientists. China has approximately 250.

The report was written by Toby Dalton, co-director of the Carnegie Endowment’s Nuclear Policy Program, and Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center.

Pakistan is believed to use plutonium as well as highly enriched uranium to create nuclear warheads. Dalton noted that Pakistan recently added a fourth plutonium production reactor at its Khushab Nuclear Complex.

“We assume, maybe correctly, maybe inaccurately, with the fuel coming out of the four reactors, they are processing it as rapidly as possible to get the plutonium out,” Dalton said.

India and Pakistan, which have fought three major wars, became declared nuclear powers in 1998. Since then, Western leaders have been increasingly alarmed about the potential for a nuclear exchange between the rivals.

India has adopted a no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons. Pakistani leaders have repeatedly declined to take a similar stance, saying they might be forced to resort to using the weapons should India’s larger army ever invade Pakistan.

India views nuclear weapons “as a political tool, a prestige item, not something you use on a battlefield,” Krepon said. In Pakistan, he said, nuclear weapons are seen as “things you have to be willing to use” to guarantee stability.

But Krepon and Dalton said there is still time for Pakistan to slow down the development of its nuclear arsenal. If it does, they said, the international community should consider what steps it can take to recognize it as a responsible nuclear state.

Pakistan To Become The Third Largest Nuclear Power (Dan 8:8)

 
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal could be world’s third largest in a decade, say US think-tanks
Aug 27, 2015 22:37 IST

Washington: Pakistan is on course of having about 350 nuclear weapons in about a decade, the world’s third-largest stockpile after the US and Russia and twice that of India, two major American think-tanks said on Thursday

In the next five to 10 years, Pakistan could have a nuclear arsenal not only twice the size of India’s but also larger than those of the United Kingdom, China, and France, giving it the third-largest arsenal behind the United States and Russia,” said a report by two renowned scholars Tom Dalton and Michael Krepon.

The 48-page report titled ‘A Normal Nuclear Pakistan’ by the Stimson Center and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace says that the growth path of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, enabled by existing infrastructure goes well beyond the assurances of credible minimal deterrence provided by Pakistani officials and analysts after testing nuclear devices.

“If Pakistan continues on its current path, and if there is no reassessment of its presumed need to compete effectively with India, in 10 years time Pakistan could possess a nuclear arsenal nearing 350 weapons (or at least a stockpile of fissile material sufficient for an arsenal of this size),” the report said.

“If Pakistan has defined production requirements for approximately 20 nuclear warheads annually against an India that competes haphazardly, it is unlikely to diminish annual production requirements for an India that competes seriously,” it said.

Consequently, if New Delhi picks up the pace of this competition and Rawalpindi responds accordingly, Pakistan’s future nuclear stockpile could grow well beyond 350 nuclear warheads.
“If deterrence fails, it appears that Pakistan has no intention of ‘losing’ a nuclear war with India,” it said.

By staying on its present course, Pakistan faces very long odds against entering the nuclear mainstream, the report noted.

NSG members – especially its non-nuclear-weapon state members – are likely to view Pakistan’s rapid growth in fissile material stocks and warheads as contrary to the norms of responsible nuclear stewardship, it said.

A nuclear future in which Pakistan seeks to exceed or at least match or offset the growth in India’s nuclear and conventional military capabilities appears far bleaker for Pakistan than for India, the two think tanks said.
PTI

Precursor Of The Final Woe Of Babylon The Great (Rev 8:13)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Some Oregonians woke on the Fourth of July to a significant jolt when a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck near Springfield and Eugene.
Hundreds of people reported to the U.S. Geological Survey that they felt the quake, which struck at 8:42 a.m. Saturday.
Usually, there isn’t any damage from quakes lower than magnitude 5.5, USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso said.
City of Springfield officials said they haven’t received any reports of damage from residents or to infrastructure.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office also said it had conducted well-checks on local businesses and no major damages or injuries were reported.
Sheriff’s officials said residents reported some mild impacts, including shaking furniture, an extremely loud explosion-type sound, items falling off walls and shelves, and woodpiles shifting.
The Oregon Department of Transportation, which conducted visual inspections of bridges in the Eugene-Springfield area, said there was no damage to any roadways or bridges.
The US Army Corps of Engineers said it too is doing routine inspections on the 13 Willamette Valley dams; no immediate damage has been reported.
The quake was centered about 12 miles east of Eugene. It was about 4 miles deep, which Caruso of the USGS says is considered shallow.
Utah was also hit by an earthquake Saturday morning, the USGS said. About 10 a.m. Utah time, a magnitude 4.0 quake hit about 1 mile south of Panguitch, Utah. The town is about 200 miles south of Salt Lake City.
The Panguitch Fire Department and the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office report receiving calls about the quake from the public but nothing about damages or injuries, The Deseret News reported (http://bit.ly/1G0zVCh). The quake lasted between three and four seconds, Fire Chief Dave Dodds told the newspaper.

San Francisco Is The Third Woe Or Quake (Rev 11:14)

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When, not if: how do San Franciscans live with the threat of the next quake? 

The earthquake question comes up in two out of every three transactions that Eileen Bermingham handles. Demand for San Francisco property has hit new heights in recent years, forcing buyers to offer far above the asking price – and things don’t appear to be slowing, even in the usually sluggish early months of the year. “It’s been particularly hectic,” confirms Bermingham, an agent with Zephyr Real Estate, which sells houses all over the city.

But the earthquake question is always in the background.

Bermingham gets specific requests from clients for newer homes built under more stringent building codes, houses that have been retrofitted for earthquakes, or specific neighbourhoods that pose less risk. Many parts of the city are built on landfill, and maps highlight large swathes that are at risk of ‘liquefaction’ – the soil literally turning from solid to liquid – in the event of a large earthquake.

“A lot of it comes down to being at least knowledgeable about what you’re getting into,” Bermingham says of investing in the city. “You don’t want to find out later that you’re on a liquefaction zone.”

That’s something many people found out the hard way in 1989, when a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the San Francisco region. About 28,000 structures in the region were damaged by the quake, including a sizeable chunk of San Francisco’s Marina District, a neighbourhood with front-row views of the Golden Gate Bridge built on landfill poured into the bay in the early 20th century.

This unsteady ground was itself the leftover rubble of another disaster, the estimated 7.8-magnitude earthquake of 1906 that left 3,000 people dead. Though the earthquake was immense, most of the damage was caused by a fire in its aftermath that spread across nearly five square miles of the city, consuming 28,000 buildings and leaving more than half of the population homeless. Despite the century that’s since passed, this disaster has left a deep mental scar on the city. The spectre of 1906 is both a guide to prepare, and a warning of what could happen again.

And the next “big one” could come any day. Between now and 2038, there’s a 99.7% chance of a 6.7-or-larger earthquake striking somewhere in California. That’s according to a 2008 report from the US Geological Survey, which estimates that there’s a 63% probability of a big earthquake hitting the San Francisco region. The two faults flanking San Francisco – the northern San Andreas and the Hayward – have a 21% chance and a 31% chance, respectively. Clearly that’s not a sure bet, but if the experts are right, San Francisco will probably be shaking hard again sometime soon.

It’s a threat not lost on locals. Byron Davis is one of Bermingham’s clients, and he was cautious about homes in damage-prone parts of the city when he was looking – mostly because of the risk, but also because he happens to be a vibration consultant, who helps design buildings and laboratories to be extremely resistant to tiny vibrations. “My mind is tuned to think about these kinds of issues,” he says. “I don’t actually do any seismic work but I work around people that do. I hear the kind of language they use and it scares me. They talk about ‘when’, not ‘if’.”

The house Davis and his wife ended up buying was built in 1928, long before building codes were modernised in the 1970s to account for seismic issues. He says he plans to retrofit its foundations against seismic risks, but knows there’s only so much he can do in the face of a major earthquake. His house is about 200 feet from a liquefaction zone, and though he is pretty confident about its safety, he does wonder how accurately those liquefaction maps are drawn. Ultimately, he says, the choice of where to buy was driven more by the neighborhood than the thought of a future earthquake.

“There are so few houses that are for sale that you don’t get to do much picking and choosing on a basis like that,” he says.

Even the tech companies who have been swarming into the city are pushing any earthquake concerns into the background. Startups like Square and Pinterest have located their offices in the liquefaction zone that is the South of Market, or SoMa, neighbourhood, as have bigger companies like Yahoo! and Yelp. Rachel Walker, a Yelp spokesperson, brushes the earthquake concern aside, saying the company’s new headquarters, a historic 1925 building, went through “substantial renovation, including significant earthquake retrofitting”. Many other stone and brick buildings in the city have undergone similar retrofits, in which foundations are replaced or steel framing is added.

Most of the risk will likely fall on homeowners and renters. A 2013 report from the San Francisco Public Press found that there could be as many as 58,000 people living in housing units at major risk of collapse during a large earthquake. The city has a mandatory retrofit program for such buildings, but progress has been slow.

One way people can protect themselves, at least financially, is earthquake insurance – but few do, and it’s not required. Of those homeowners with insurance policies in San Francisco, less than 10% have earthquake insurance. That’s according to the California Earthquake Authority, an entity established by the state legislature to insure against earthquakes after most insurers stopped issuing policies. They were nearly bankrupted by 1994’s 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake in Southern California – they’d underestimated potential losses from earthquakes, and they ended up paying out more than $12bn in claims. Most of the reason so few people have earthquake insurance today is that its cost has risen to reflect the larger potential payouts from earthquake damages.

An earthquake policy can cost as much again, if not more, than a typical homeowner’s insurance policy, according to Kyle Cliff, a salesman with Liberty Mutual Insurance in the Bay Area. That can add another $1,500 a year, depending on the house. And with a 10% or 15% deductible, the policy would only pay off if there’s major damage to a home. Cliff says he sells maybe a dozen policies a year.

“Usually when I do it’s to people from out of state,” Cliff says. “They turn on the news and what do they see? Earthquakes.”

He says locals are less likely to consider the expense because they’ve experienced so many earthquakes but so little catastrophic damage. For example, Los Angeles residents woke up to a 4.4-magnitude earthquake on 17 March – large enough to rattle some nerves, but not enough to cause even minor damage.

But Glenn Pomeroy, chief executive of the California Earthquake Authority, argues it’s those catastrophic events people should really be insuring themselves against. “This insurance enterprise isn’t there to take care of the little things that might happen after a minor earthquake. We’re here to help make sure someone has the financial strength to get about their lives after their home has been substantially damaged during an

The California Earthquake Authority has issued about three-quarters of the 841,000 earthquake insurance policies in California. Pomeroy says the authority has about $10bn in claims-paying capacity – enough to handle even a devastating big one, at least for those with insurance. But in a city where 90% of homeowners aren’t insured against earthquakes, the risks are acute.

“I think there’s definitely a situation where a major earthquake could really disrupt life here,” says Patrick Otellini, Director of Earthquake Safety for the County and City of San Francisco. “San Francisco is a very resilient city. We’ve always bounced back. So I think that drive and that hope to recover is there, but those dangers are real.”

Ultimately, Otellini is confident that local retrofit requirements and the city’s 30-year Earthquake Safety Implementation Program will help the city to withstand a major earthquake – adding that if property owners are proactive about implementing mitigation measures, they’ll reduce the damage they and the city as a whole suffers, even if they don’t opt to invest in earthquake insurance.

Pomeroy, though, makes the case that the more protection people have the better. “Some people think earthquake insurance is too expensive, and if they live in a high-risk area I’m not going to try to argue that it’s cheap. But I would suggest that there’s a cost of being uninsured that outweighs the cost of that insurance policy when that event happens.”

And if the USGS is right, that major event has a very high probability of occurring. So why is it that San Franciscans, with all their experience of minor earthquakes and the occasional major one, are willing to take on the risk of living in a city so prone to major devastation?

“People don’t understand probability very well, even if you’re relatively well educated,” says David Ropeik, author of RISK! A Practical Guide for Deciding What’s Really Safe and What’s Really Dangerous in the World Around You. The problem, he says, is that numbers are abstractions, and we have trouble processing them cognitively.

“You could describe an earthquake in terms of knocking things down; that’s a tangible thing. But saying there’s a 99% chance that in the next 30 years the next big one will hit is an abstraction. The entire risk language of probability pales in its influence against the more tangible factors.”

Ropeik argues that one of the central components of risk perception is control and choice. If we’re forced to move to a risky city like San Francisco, we’ll probably be more attuned to its earthquake risk than if we choose to move there of our own volition. “If we have a choice as to whether to engage in it, we’re less afraid,” he says. Many in San Francisco have made that choice, fully conscious of its inherent risk.

“Earthquakes are just one example of how we all have a problem with risks that are very infrequent, low probability, despite their high consequence,” Ropeik says. “Cities around the world are exposed to a variety of low-likelihood but high-consequence events, and because of our psychological nature, we’re not very good at assessing the risks.”